thanks. Does that mean that my current set-up could be causing problems? The line that is leaking (on the left in the photo) is going into a T with another black pipe coming in at a right angle. the other juntion (on the right in the picture) is a much larger(1 5/8")copper pipe. This copper pipe goes back towards the furnace where it connects to another iron pipe. (note, there is a piece of wood under the pipe coming in at a right angle). Thanks again.
A homeowner here who has a leak in an iron (about 1 5/16" o.d.) wet-return line in my one-pipe steam system. Can I replace this iron with 3/4" copper? Do I need a dielectric connection to a still sound black pipe section?
Thanks for your help.
You must replace the leaking pipe with one that is equal in diameter. If you have 1 1/4 steel pipe right now, you can replace it with 1 1/4 steel or 1 1/4 copper pipe. Copper returns are not a great thing to have because of all the carbonic acid that develops in condensate lines, but if the pipes remain exposed and you feel that the only way you can do it is in copper, go for it. Don't bury copper lines at all or they will leak.